Poem of the Day

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On Your Marks

 

I’ve turned into jelly.

I don’t have the strength.

My stomach is stuck in my throat.

Why did I say I could swim a whole length?

I don’t even know how to float.

My goggles are loose,

should have tightened the strap.

What if they happen to leak?

And what if my bathers just suddenly snap?

I’ll be laughed at the rest of the week.

What if I don’t make the end of the race?

What if I give up all hope?

I’ll never be able to lift up my face

if I have to hold onto the rope.

My stomach is churning,

I’m still feeling bad,

I’m freezing… and there goes the gun!

I’m kicking,

I’m splashing,

I’m swimming like mad.

Will I make it?

I have!

And I’ve won!

 

Jenny Erlanger

First published in “Giggles and Niggles” (Haddington Press, 2007)

  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #13

Jenny said: I was always a very nervous competitor in school swimming sports and dreaded the sound of the starting pistol.

 

 

Poem of the Day

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Yellow Letters

 

When my grandad passed away

We found beneath the floor

A beat up, sturdy wooden box

We’d never seen before

 

The reason that we found it

Was a floor board out of place

It was sticking out and I tripped up

And landed on my face

 

I could tell it was important

And I removed it with great care

Grandad loved us all so much

What would he hide down there?

 

Mum looked surprised as I was

As she opened up the lid

Slowly then, her tears rolled down

As she found out what he hid

 

Her face had turned from flush to pale

As though she’d seen a ghost

So many yellowed envelopes

He never meant to post.

 

Mum said that Grandad never wrote

While serving in the war

And all these papers sitting here

She’d never seen before

 

We sat and read together

Sharing tears and love as well

My grandad never wrote of war

As it was nothing short of hell

 

He couldn’t say the words out loud

But these letters had ensured

That maybe one day later

We would know what he’d endured

 

We placed them back into the box

And closed the lid up tight

I felt my grandad was at peace

When I fell asleep that night

 

For though he never posted them

Those letters got him through

For the final one said ‘War is done!

I’m coming home to you’

Sioban Timmer
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #12

Sioban said: I just recently received copies of my Grandad’s war medals and have a special box to place them in, I think that put the idea to the front of my mind.

 

Poem of the Day

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THE ECHIDNA

An echidna passed across a track

heading towards a special snack.

 

A naturalist muttered, ‘What a turn!

about this creature, I’ve got to learn.’

 

He kneeled to take a closer look

the echidna swung with strong right hook.

 

And it was such a heavy clout

it nearly knocked the watcher out.

 

The echidna curled into a prickly ball

snarling, ‘I don’t like you at all.’

 

The naturalist cried and mused upon

what it was that he’d done wrong.

 

He only wanted to see first hand

the weirdest creature in the land.

 

The echidna uncurled and stalked away

grumbling at his ruined day.

 

And idiots too dumb to know

you always let echidnas go –

 

About their business digging holes

and eating ants from salad bowls.

 

Or snuffling around a great big mound

Where tasty termites are always found.

 

To spare echnida watchers’ pain,

the moral of this tale is plain.

 

Always remember it’s very rude

to keep echidnas from their food.

 

Margaret Pearce

 

 

 

Poetry Prompt #13

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poetry-prompt-13

On your marks, get set, go! It’s Poetry Prompt time.

Thanks to everyone who has so enthusiastically embraced these weekly prompts. Your contributions to this site are much appreciated, so please keep them coming. Remember, if you’ve missed a prompt you can catch up later. And if you have other poems for children, feel free to submit them. They can be previously published as long as you retain the rights. Send submissions via email to teenawriter@gmail.com as a Word or Text document attachment and add a line or two about your writing process.

Happy writing!

Teena

Poem of the Day

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Blueberry Pancakes and Parachutes

Silvery streaks of morning-time rain

puddling into the mud

reminds me of blueberry pancakes

and circular see-through parachutes.

 

Raindrops aren’t teardrops.

There’s no pointy tip.

Those free-falling globules

are blueberry round.

 

But if they meet-up

as they fall through the sky

a middle-sized raindrop

as-flat-as-a-pancake

might suddenly start to appear.

 

Bigger and larger and bulkier still

fast-falling raindrops

past pancake proportions

with stretch in the centre

and drag through the air.

 

For less than a second

becoming a dome

these small glassy parachutes

wobble then burst

to break into

blueberry droplets again.

Celia Berrell
  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #11

Celia said: I was delighted to learn that raindrops make all these weird shapes as they fall to the ground.  This year I hope to receive Your Poems about the wonders of water for the Science Rhymes website.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2009/07/how-raindrop-exploding-parachute

 

Poem of the Day

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How Trees Grow

 

First, they listen to the wind’s ideas

and take notes.

They suck nutriment from the soil

but never forget their manners.

They bathe regularly in rain

and soak their feet in special solutions.

Measuring distances from star to star

they dream of universal travels.

Also, they touch each other kindly

and play host to thousands of guests.

 

Jennie Fraine

Jenny said: This poem was published in 1993 in a booklet I prepared and printed myself, to share with children as I spoke to them in schools about the mystery and magic, the pure possibility, of poetry. The poems had originally been written for other children, in response to their requests for a poem on a topic they liked. I had created a business called Poetic Licence and apart from lots of work in schools (via three agents) I also worked at festivals as a roving performer (writing on the spot about anything suggested by those I accosted) at literacy camps, on tour along the Murray River, in country towns and suburbs in Victoria, at writers festivals for children, at Georges and David Jones for special occasions, and at private celebrations, and at schools and the fringe festival in the Kimberleys.

Poem of the Day

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Imagination

 

In the land of dreams,

All is not what it seems.

For no world is perfect.

You see, not even in the most beautiful imaginary places.

 

Lurking in the dark are sharks.

Ready to invade the place of great beauty,

To steal some of that sunshine away.

You see, sharks are drawn to beautiful imaginary places.

 

Best to turn on the light,

And cast the shadows aside.

Let the beauty sparkle in a golden glow.

You see, even the shadows are in beautiful imaginary places.

 

Let the sun shine and sparkle,

Casting all the dark shadows aside.

Then the stunning beauty can shimmer in all its glory.

You see, goodness and happiness are found in beautiful imaginary places.

 

When you allow them to glow.

 

Karen Hendriks

 

  • Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #10